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Section 4 & 5 of the Judicial Branch
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Section 4 & 5 of the Judicial Branch

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  • 1. Section 4 - The development of the federal courts
  • 2.
    • Founders probably assumed that they would have judicial review though they did not say it in so many words
    • they probably did NOT expect it to play such a large role in making public policy
  • 3.
    • Articles of Confederation - NO JUDICIAL BRANCH
    • Traditionally they felt judges would find and apply existing laws. Later judges questioned this traditional view and argued that judges should make law.
  • 4.
    • Judiciary has no influence over the sword or the purse
    • Three stages in the development (described at length in the following sections)
  • 5.
    • 1787-1865 National Supremacy and Slavery (3 bullet points)
    • C.J. Marshall asserted that national law was the dominant law and the Supreme Court would decide what the Constitution meant (Marbury)
    • Power of the federal government to regulate commerce among states was established
  • 6.
    • C.J. Taney and the Dred Scott case - one of the most disastrous opinions ever written. Taney held that African Americans are not citizens and cannot become citizens so the federal law prohibiting slavery in northern territories was unconstitutional
  • 7.
    • When should the economy be regulated by the states? When should it be regulated by the national government?
    • Court determined that the 14th Amendment also protects private property and corporations from unreasonable state action
    Government and the Economy 1865-1937
  • 8.
    • Many more laws found unconstitutional then the first years of the United States
    • Clear evidence of the court’s desire to protect private property
        • upheld use of injunctions to prevent labor strikes
        • Struck down the income tax
        • Limited reach of antitrust law
  • 9.
    • Did allow the states to regulate business that affected public interest
        • allowed ICC to regulate RR rates
        • upheld law requiring RR safety
        • approved state anti-liquor laws
        • supported state workers compensation laws
  • 10.
    • the Court was unsure over how to draw the line between unreasonable and reasonable
    • 14th and 15th were interpreted so narrowly so as to give African Americans only the most limited benefits of the provisions
  • 11.
    • 4 bullet points
    • After 1936 the courts stopped imposing serious restrictions on the State and federal power to regulate economy, left matters in the hands of legislators
    • Became concerned with turning over laws that violated civil liberties
    Government and Political Liberty 1936-Present?
  • 12.
    • FDR and Court Packing - wanted 1 new judge for each one over 70 as a way to force New Deal legislation. Before it could be voted on Congress accepted New Deal Proposals and ideas
    • Warren Court - most activist court period in Supreme Court history to date (1953-1969)...to protect the rights of citizens from government trespass
  • 13.
    • Hints that there are limits to the supremacy of the federal government created by the existence of states
    Revival of State Sovereignty (Think devolution) 1992 -? maybe? maybe?
  • 14. Section 5 - Structure of the Courts
    • Only federal court the Constitution requires is the Supreme Court, other courts and their jurisdictions are created by Congress
    • Two kinds of lower federal courts to handle cases not being tried by the Supreme Court
  • 15. Constitutional Court
    • exercise judicial powers found in Article III
    • judges given constitutional protection - cannot be fired, salaries cannot be reduced while in office
    • 94 district courts - lowest federal courts, federal trial courts
    • 12 court of Appeals - hear appeals from district courts
  • 16. Legislative/Special Courts
    • set up by Congress for some specialized purpose and staffed with people who have fixed terms in office and can be removed or have their salaries reduced
    • Examples: Court of Military Appeals, Territorial Courts
  • 17. Section 6: Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts
    • Jurisdiction -
        • the authority of a court to hear a case
  • 18.
    • Federal Jurisdiction -
        • Federal Question Cases - concerning the Constitution, federal laws or treaties
        • Diversity Cases - cases involving citizens from different states who can bring suits in federal courts
  • 19.
    • ADD THIS SOMEWHERE
    • Original Jurisdiction -
        • right to hear a case for the first time
    • Appellate Jurisdiction
        • right to review the decision of a previous lower court
  • 20.
    • Dual Jurisdiction - both in federal and state courts
    • A matter that is exclusively within the province of state courts can be appealed to the United States Supreme Court
  • 21.
    • Exclusive Jurisdiction of Federal Courts
        • federal criminal law is broken, but not a state law
        • appealing the decision of a federal regulatory agency
        • controversy between two state governments
  • 22.
    • A vast majority of federal cases begin in the district courts, in 2002: 650 judges received over 300,000 cases
  • 23.
    • Federal District Courts - original jurisdiction - decide both civil and criminal cases in original jurisdiction. They hear evidence and can use juries to decide the verdict.
    • The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals - appellate jurisdiction. 13 circuits. They hear cases on appeal from the Federal District Courts or form a State Supreme Court
        • One has to claim that a constitutional right has been violated. They have no juries, they only decide the issue of law
  • 24.
    • the Supreme Court - original and appellate (from lower courts) jurisdictions
        • original if
            • 2 or more states
            • US and a state
            • involves foreign ambassadors and other diplomats
            • a state and a citizen of a different state (if began with the state)
  • 25.